Sunday, April 30, 2017

First Week Queenstown

You'd think that being in a new country for a week would have seen me post things regularly on new and exciting experienced I did in that time. Unfortunately, this last week was not the norm in that regard. For starters, I got sick. Badly. A cold which a few others in the hostel also caught. The first day with it, I had committed two others taking a walk with me up a hill behind Queenstown to have a look down. A short way up I had to stop, as I noticed that the exercise was not doing me any favours what so ever. From that point on Emma (Aussie) and Adam (UK) carried on alone and I just wanted to walk back and get in to bed. Unfortunately that would have meant I would have been out of food, which is probably not the best thing to be when sick in bed. Swung by the supermarket and bought a few things before getting back to the hostel and bed. I slept for a good portion of the day, but as a result my jet lag (still I reckon) came in to play and I couldn't sleep the rest of the night.
Due to bad luck I had to take an hour bus trip to the next town the following day, reason being to open a bank account. Now, opening a bank account seemed like such a simple thing. At least it was in Australia. On my second day here I walked off all the banks in Queenstown and the results weren't promising. Westpac had declined straight away. Company policy dictated that I couldn't open a bank account before having a job (along that line) and, well, it's extraordinary difficult to get a job without a bank account. Ergo, problem?! The next largest bank, the ANZ, didn't have a spot free to open an account until three weeks later, which is a very long time to go with pulling funds from over seas. The other bank, a bit smaller, Kiwibank couldn't give me an appointment for a similar long time. In the end I organised an appointment in the next town in Cromwell, where I could go and get everything done four days later. The bank problem seems to be a Queenstown exclusive, as stories I've heard from backpackers in Auckland say that they got in when they walked in to the banks.
Anyways, in the end I went to Cromwell with a cold to open a bank account. There are two buses, one in the morning going there and one in the evening coming back. End of line. Brilliant for when one is not felling to well (sarcasm). What was nice about the journey, though, was that we had a funny and talkative bus driver, which in my situation was really a relief. Also the scenery along the route was stunning. We passed wine fields and bungee drops over clear rivers where rafting and kajaking is possible. All surrounded by the South Islands mountains. I can't wait to travel in an own vehicle again. 
In Cromwell I actually managed to get a bit more than the bank account done. As if to make up for all the bad felling from being ill, I got a lot of good new that day. I'd found out I could get a bit more money from Oz than originally anticipated, due to superannuation I was never going to need. I got my tax file number sorted out, which was made a lot easier with me just having been in the bank and I re-read a job interview invitation I have for a ski field I applied for. Once back I then just dropped in to bed again.
The next few days saw me recuperating and generally not doing a lot past sleeping, reading and watching videos. Most of my survival in that time was in tea, honey and raw lemons, but as of today I feel a lot better.

The past days have been cooling off and just today we have had the first bit of snow on the mountains. Here is to hope to a good season, and quite a few other backpackers are also getting a bit hyped up due to the snow. A lot of people are itching to get on to the snow fields.  

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